April 25, 2021, Oklahoma City, OK — Molly Otto won her first-career Better Barrel Races World Finals championship with a scorching 15.208 inside the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds riding the long-strided, smooth-turning 8-year-old gelding Sixappeal. The win paid $11,110.
The Grand Forks, North Dakota-based barrel horse trainer says her goal for the short go of the BBR World Finals was to stay smooth.
“Going into it, I was kind of nervous—that type of pen is not really his setup,” Otto admitted. “He was kind of scared out there. I thought, OK, just go out there and go around the barrels. We don’t have to be fast; just go out there and have a controlled run. And he did exactly that. Slow is usually fast for him. My goal on him is just to have a smooth run. I usually don’t really kick him much in my run, just on the way home. Usually he runs pretty fast.”
Owned by Otto’s friend and longtime client Katie Lindahl, who also owns and bred Otto’s top futurity horse of 2020, Teasin Dat Guy, “Jimmy” has garnered several major wins under Otto’s guidance. Otto says he’s felt like a special athlete since the first time she rode him as a colt.
“He just wants to be good. He wants to be a good boy,” Otto said. “He can get scared out there, but he still tries. He’s just a special horse.”
Read more about Otto’s win in the June 2021 issue of Barrel Horse News.
BBR World Finals 1D Top Five
1- Molly Otto/Sixappeal/Grand Forks, ND/15.208/$11,110; 2- Amelia McCumber/Aint Seen Famous Yet/Atkinson, NE/15.299/$4,650; 3- Shannon Lillard/LZK Dashus Rockstar/Fargo, OK/15.308/$3,549; 4- Devin Young/Jettin To Docs Bar/Rosanky, TX/15.331/$3,060; 5- Jodee Miller/Overthemoonforaguy/Bellville, TX/15.341/$2,449
Find full results from the BBR World Finals here.
BBR World Finals 2D Champion—Haley Nida and Classic Frosty Cat
Haley Nida of Alva, Oklahoma, took full advantage of first-timer’s luck in not only her first qualification to the BBR World Finals, but her first year to be a member of the association. She rode her 10-year-old gelding Classic Frosty Cat to a 15.709 to win the 2D championship for $9,258.
“He’s just Mr. Consistent. He always pulls through for me. He’s just been a dream,” Nida said. “My game plan was to ride hard, because I noticed in some of my other runs, I wasn’t riding as hard as I should. I just wanted to keep them up and just go for it. When they announced my name, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this!'”
BBR World Finals 3D Champion—Jackie Ganter and Lone Star
National Finals Rodeo qualifier Jackie Ganter has taken a step back from hitting the rodeo trail full time in recent years, and while she still rodeos, she’s changed her focus to raising, training and promoting her NFR stallion Guys French Jet‘s offspring.
Ganter accomplished a special feat at the BBR World Finals, qualifying both “Jet” and one of his colts to the short go. Luck was on her side, and she took home the 3D championship aboard Lone Star, a 6-year-old gelded son of Jet, with a 16.208, worth $7,407. Jet also placed in the 2D with a 15.817.
“To run him and then run his baby too is just, honestly it makes my whole life,” Ganter said. “That’s all I live for now is to take Jet and his colts to barrel races and do good on them. I’ve never had a feeling like it. All the years that I’ve ran Jet and won so much on him, I loved it. He’s the probably the best horse I’ve ever owned and will ever own, and then all of his babies have so many characteristics of his that it’s like I just get to keep riding him.”
BBR World Finals 4D Champion—Justice Phillips and This Tres Breezes
Henderson, Texas, barrel horse trainer Justice Phillips made the most out of ground trouble on This Tres Breezes, clocking a lucky 16.709 to win the 4D title for $5,555.
“He’s owned by some good clients of mine, Maggie and Lisa Stephens, and I’ve had him for about three years. I ran him on and off. Maggie, the daughter, also runs him, and so we just alternate back and forth,” Phillips explained. “He worked really good in the first go. We made it back in the Barn Six race with a 15.8 and then came over [to the Jim Norick Arena in the coliseum] and the ground over here just wasn’t really his style. He struggled with that but ended up getting us lucky. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He really tried to work.”
BBR World Finals 5D Champion-Cassie Ramirez and Maggie Mae
A horse that came into Cassie Ramirez’s life as a gift for her young daughter has now become an even more special member of the family. Maggie Mae is helping Ramirez accomplish her own goals inside the competition arena, and they now have their first win together under their belts thank to a 17.222 to win the BBR World Finals 5D, worth $3,703.
“About a year ago, I decided to start her on the barrels. This is like her 15th run? And I hadn’t ran barrels in 15 years,” Ramirez said. “I thought I’m gonna give it a try and try to make her into a really good barrel horse for my daughter one day. So the goal is to season her and hand her off one day and know that she can take care of my little baby. We worked so hard. I bought outfits in January, I bought a halter that I said I was going to take my winning photo in. I have been just manifesting this day for four months. And to see it all come true, I still can’t believe it. Speak it, believe it and work your butt off. Try every day.”